I originally planned to make these for New Year’s Eve, but as it became evident just how much food there was on hand, this recipe went by the wayside.
Still, I had everything to make herb stuffed mushrooms, and I hate waste and I love mushrooms…
Once in a while, its fun to do the unexpected. When you present your family with appetizers before dinner, its like having a party in the middle of the week. So stuffed mushrooms on a Wednesday night? Why not?
Stuffed Mushrooms with Fresh Herbs
- 20 cremini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs (See Note)
- zest of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh Italian parsley, minced plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan reggiano
NOTE: To make fresh breadcrumbs, tear up pieces of bread and place them in a food processor. You can use any kind of bread. Process until the bread turns into rough crumbs. It only takes a few seconds. Then pour the crumbs onto rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 300 F degree oven for 20 minutes. Toss them around once midway through cooking. When done, the breadcrumbs will be light brown and very dry.
Turn oven up to 375 degrees F.
CLEANING THE MUSHROOMS: I have always been a little disgusted by the “brush them clean” instruction. That doesn’t seem clean enough to me. So I was relieved when Alton Brown told me that soaking the mushrooms does little to alter them. Since then I wash my mushrooms in a large bowl of cold water. The dirt just falls off.
Decapitate the mushrooms and put their puny bodies in one bowl and the glorious mushroom caps in another. My cap bowl was lined with a clean dishtowel to soak up excess water from the cleaning of my mushrooms.
To make the filling for the mushrooms, chop up the stems and the shallot and sauté in two tablespoons of unsalted butter until the shallots are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the vinegar. Sauté for one minute then add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup chicken stock until the breadcrumbs are moist.
Take it off the heat and stir in the herbs. This makes about 1 1/4 cups of stuffing.
Fill the caps with the stuffing. At this point, you could wrap these up well and store in the refrigerator for up to a day. When ready to bake, arrange the stuffed mushrooms on a baking dish, sprinkle each mushroom with some parmesan.
Bake for 20 minutes. You’ll know they are done because stuffing is warm all the way through, the mushrooms are letting go of their juice a little and the cheese is starting to brown.
Garnish with chopped italian parsley and serve.
VARIATIONS: Just like other types of stuffing, this is a recipe that lends itself to all sorts of changes. You could add different herbs. You could substitute garlic for the shallots and sauté some spinach with the mushrooms. Try adding ground sausage to the mushroom mixture. Or toasted pine nuts. Or you could top the mushrooms with a different cheese. All sorts of possibilities.